Colombo Telegraph

Violence Against Muslims And The Ugly Face Of Sinhala Buddhist Hegemony

By Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran –

Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran -PM – TGTE

The recent spate of violence directed at the Muslim community in Southern Sri Lanka and the pre- meditated attacks on innocent Muslims have spread today to up-country stations such as Badulla, endangering the security of Muslim people in this region.

The violence unleashed against innocent Muslims in the villages of Aluthgama and Dharga Town in the Kalutara district of the Western Province by the Bodu Bala Sena, and the attacks on Muslim places of worship, dwellings and businesses all appear to be expressions of the grand objective of Sinhala Buddhist hegemony to expel them from areas where they have lived for generations. The racial violence against Muslims is an extension of the ethnic pogrom directed at the Tamils in 1983.

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam condemns in the strongest terms the ongoing genocidal measures, first against the Tamils and now the Muslims, making these communities the sacrificial lambs in the altar of Sinhala supremacy, and we share the grief of our Muslim brethren. We also wish to point out that the moment of truth is here for the Muslim and Tamil people to come together forthwith and struggle against the well planned motive of a regime bent on transforming the entire island a paragon of Sinhala Buddhist hegemony.

Historically what started as the movement against Indian business people led by Anagarika Dharmapala in the 1880s, then followed in the form of riots against Christian Sinhalese at Kotahena in 1883, the Sinhala- Muslim riots of 1915, the disenfranchisement of Plantation Tamils in 1950, continued on as the anti-Tamil riots at Kelaniya in July 1956 and the pogroms against Tamils in 1958 and 1977, then the genocidal violence unleashed against the Tamils on a larger scale in 1983. The Genocide against the Tamils committed at Mullivaaikkaal in 2009 is nothing but a clear expression of Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism, with the present violence against the Muslims a part of that sweeping trend towards an even more pure Buddhist Sinhala state.

History also records the fact that communal riots in Sri Lanka have always served the need to accomplish the State’s politico-military objectives. The anti-Tamil pogroms of 1958 and 1977 and the genocidal violence of 1983 were all orchestrated by the State machinery. The violence against Muslims today bears witness to the role of the Sri Lankan government in instigating such violence, in the way it failed to heed the call to halt the meeting of Bodu Bala Sena, and the notable inaction by the police to prevent the violence.

The island of Sri Lanka has been the traditional home, not solely to the Buddhists, but also to Tamil- speaking people of the Hindu, Islamic, Christian and Buddhist faiths. People with Tamil as their heritage and language have inhabited the NorthEast region of this island from antiquity, with a distinct territory, means of life and traditions of their own. Though experiencing the influence of different religious doctrines and faiths at different times, these peoples had always enriched their linguistic identity and retained a unity derived from their common language, rather than be divided by religious extremism or ethnic supremacy.

The majoritarian form of democracy practiced in Sri Lanka with all its inherent deficits, combined with the State’s divide-and-rule tactics and the ruling elite’s greed for power, have led to the Tamil-speaking people being dispersed and destroyed in their own traditional homeland and places of natural habitation. Their cultural symbols, means of livelihood and their right to worship are all being sacrificed every day under the hegemony and aggression of the majority and its ugly stance of ethnic supremacy.

At this critical juncture, I make an earnest call, on behalf of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, to all Tamil and Muslim brethren to unite and move forward as Tamil-speaking people, to end all the persecutory maneuvers of the State and to help create a confident society that is economically self-reliant and capable of realizing its right to self-determination.

The Thirst Of Tamils Is Tamil Eelam.

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